The biggest move of the 2021 NFL Trade Deadline Week did not include the Dallas Cowboys. However, it did include the Cowboys’ next opponent: the Denver Broncos.

Denver parted ways with longtime, All-Pro pass-rushing phenom Von Miller on Monday. The Broncos sent him to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for a pair of day-two draft selections. The move surprised many, as the Broncos traded the face of their franchise and the Rams bolstered an already talented roster.

What this means for the Dallas Cowboys long-term is that the Rams became that much more of a threat in the NFC race. Dallas and Los Angeles are among the best in the conference and could likely play each other in the postseason. Protecting Dak Prescott from Von Miller and Aaron Donald won’t be easy.

What this means for Dallas right now is that the Cowboys will not have to gameplan around Von Miller on Sunday. The Cowboys get to host a Miller-less Broncos squad in what is expected to be Prescott’s return to the field after missing week eight.

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT FOR COWBOYS

Dallas Cowboys, Tyron Smith
Dec 23, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith (77) prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

This is important because Prescott is not the only banged up starter on the Cowboys offense. Left tackle Tyron Smith left the win over the Vikings early with an ankle injury. Ty Nsekhe filled in Smith’s place.

Smith’s status to play on Sunday against Denver is in doubt. The Cowboys left tackle has been mostly healthy this season prior to week eight. While not a serious injury, it is smart for Dallas to allow him to rest and heal before the stretch run of the season.

Similar to Prescott, the Cowboys need Smith in meaningful games more so than a regular contest. Second-year tackle Terence Steele has played fine in La’el Collin’s absence. Collins should be on the field on Sunday, but Steele is still needed.

Steele could very likely move out to left tackle while Collins takes back over on the right side. Shuffling the line is much more doable against a Von Miller-less Broncos team than if Miller was lining up. Denver is also without stud pass rusher Bradley Chubb.

On the flip side of injuries, there is a chance that Michael Gallup returns to action this week for the first time since week one. Dallas is being careful with injuries right now, but it will be nice for the offense to have Gallup back in the fold.

There is no need to play Tyron Smith on Sunday. Terence Steele has proven to be capable of holding things down. La’el Collins should be back in the lineup. Thankfully, the Broncos won’t have Von Miller on the field to wreck things up.

Featured image via Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports